Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Budweiser Duels Post Race Quotes
posted by Matt Stallknecht
Friday February 21, 2014
BUDWEISER DUELS POST-RACE QUOTES
They’re saying the wheel bearing burned up in it. I don’t know what caused it, they’re taking it all apart to figure out what the heck happened. Something abnormal that’s for sure I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen at all. Hopefully, we made the race and hopefully we can fix the problem before Sunday.
WHAT WAS THAT LOUD BOOM ONCE YOU TURNED INTO THE GARAGE?
Loud pop was a tire… thankfully, it popped, hopefully it didn’t hurt anybody. All the heat created in the left front that popped was pretty weird.
REALLY GOOD RUN. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?
Yeah, it was good. We have a car we can work with for the 500. Got a good starting spot, so we’re going to rest easy, fluff and buff our car for a couple of days and get ready for Sunday.
ANY DIFFERENCE ON WHETHER THE TOP OR BOTTOM LANE WORKED?
Yeah, I was just moving around, trying to stay with the flow. For me, this car works on all parts of the racetrack. So I’m pretty happy with it.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
GOT SHUFFLED BACK, AFTER PIT STOPS AND THEN COULDN’T GET BACK UP TO THE FRONT. WHY?
Nah, we were just sitting there waiting until the last few laps to make a move. You didn’t want to pull down and get sent to the back. Seen a couple of guys get sent to the back really quick so we were just kind of waiting for the end. I felt like we had a good situation there with Ambrose behind us — we had a good run off Turn 2 and I went. It was the last lap, time to go do something, nobody went with us but hopefully Sunday is a different story.
We got a great car. We don’t have to work hard. We learned, we got a good race car. Got a car in one piece, ready to go so we’ll try and get through the next couple of practices, deliver it to the starting group this Sunday and we’ll be real happy.
YOU’RE IN THE DAYTONA 500!
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. This Whitetail Chevrolet was so fast that I knew all I had to do was stick it behind smart, intelligent drafters and we could have a good finish. That’s what we did in the Duels and I’m excited. I’m excited to go do some stuff with the Nationwide car and have some more practice with this. But to know that we’re locked in the Daytona 500’s pretty cool.
YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY IN FRONT OF THAT MELEE AT THE END. WHEN YOU WERE UP FRONT THERE IN THE BEGINNING, WERE YOU HOPING TO JUST STAY IN LINE AND LET YOU FINISH TOP 5?
I was pretty content to ride and luckily I knew a lot of people around us were. It was nice to have a little calm and not really have to be racing hard the whole time. I knew that the pit stop was going to shake everything up and that’s exactly what happened. Fell back a little bit there but made the right moves at the end to get a good finish.
HOW STRONG ARE THESE RCR CARS?
They’re very strong! They definitely have the capabilities to be winning one of these races.
YOU’RE IN THE TOP 5 FOR YOUR HEAT IN THE DAYTONA 500. YOUR PRIMARY CAR IS SITTING RIGHT IN THE GARAGE, KIND OF WADDED UP. DID YOU THINK THIS ONE HAD IT IN IT?
Yeah, it’s a brand new car also. It’s just not quite as good as the primary but still a damned good car. I’m just proud of everybody at RCR for building such fast race cars. All of our cars have been fast, ECR motor’s been strong, even our affiliate teams have been qualifying really good and racing good. So… excited about 2014! It’s going to be a good year.
WELL MAN, YOU STARTED IN THE BACK BUT WORKED YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT WHEN IT COUNTED MOST. WERE YOU JUST BIDING YOUR TIME THROUGHOUT THE RACE?
Eh, you never know if you’re going to get back up there or not. We had to start at the back, we had to make a run early and see what we could do. We drove right to 10th, or something like that and then it got stagnant. We tried to make something happen, and went to the back again. Drove back up to the front. Again, just really proud of my guys. Matt Kruder did a hell of a job on that pit stop getting just enough gas in to gain some spots there.
RCR CARS SEEM PRETTY DARNED STRONG. DO YOU THINK THE RCR CARS HAVE SOMETHING FOR THEM ON SUNDAY — ESPECIALLY THE THREE JOE GIBBS RACING CARS THAT SEEM TO BE THE CLASS OF THE FIELD RIGHT NOW?
Oh yeah. The 20 car was extremely fast. The 11 didn’t qualify that good, but he’s a good drafter. I think he won. We definitely have something for him.
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Matt McLaughlin · Thursday August 7, 2008
A not so amusing thing happened to me one night last week while I was fueling up my black and gold ’76 Trans Am en route to a local car show. I’m used to the car eliciting a lot of reactions; usually a thumbs up, a smile, or an endless string of questions asking if it’s a real “Smokey and the Bandit” car. But as the young man fueling his Honda Civic Hybrid approached me, he didn’t seem to want to know about the car… or Burt Reynolds. Instead, I was stunned when he asked me who, exactly, I was trying to impress.
What I should have said right there was pretty young women of questionable morals; but as I quickly realized, that might have made things worse. I told him I wasn’t out to impress anyone; I was just buying gas. Quick to respond, he asked if I understood my 455 Pontiac turned 750 cubic feet of clean air into carbon monoxide a mile. I told him that sounded high to me, and that I didn’t drive the car much anyway. It was a toy car; my daily driver averages 30 MPG, and I also frequently ride a motorcycle that gets 50 MPG. But out of nowhere, I felt on the defensive, especially as his girlfriend — who was rather cute, though of unknown moral character — came toward me with a handful of pamphlets.
Now, I hate pamphlets… and I especially hate people who hand people they don’t know pamphlets they don’t want. All of a sudden, it seemed to take forever to fill the Trans Am and while I did so, I was berated for the size of my carbon hoofprint or something like that and called an environmental terrorist. I got annoyed. I was taller than the kid by a head and a decade ago, I would have punched him right in the yap — but I’m older and wiser now. I tried twice to explain I do about 2,500 miles a year in the car — No Sale. So, when I left the lot of the Sunoco, I did so in a cloud of tire smoke that would have made Jimmie Johnson proud — with my 800 CFM Quadrajet sucking huge amounts of fresh air through the shaker scoop, and a pair of Flowmaster Forties ripping the holy night. If I had stopped to consider things, the local police department was almost directly across the street; yeah, I may be older, but perhaps not that much wiser. Fortunately, I didn’t get ticketed for reckless driving — or even environmental terrorism.
It’s a sign of the times, I guess. The Green movement has gone from the liberal left to mainstream in this country. What was once the exclusive province of wild eyed fanatics like Al “The Sky is Falling!” Gore has reached Main Street and the way Americans live their lives. As a result, politicians on both sides of the aisle are suddenly eager to take the high ground on “renewable resources,” moving towards draconian higher fuel mileage standards and reduced emissions for passenger cars and trucks — even as the Big Three in Detroit struggle to stay afloat.
That new public sentiment leaves NASCAR’s broad flanks open to attack. I’ve already had some people, obviously not fans of the sport, wonder why gasoline is “wasted” in automobile racing during this current energy crisis. They want to know what sort of fuel mileage Cup cars get (lousy) and what sort of smog reduction systems they run (none). As a high profile sport that celebrates the increasingly demonized fast, loud cars, it behooves NASCAR to start their own Green initiatives before someone running for or holding public office insists we do.
Step one would be simple. Just as Bill France, Jr. did back during the first gas crisis, we can cut the length of our races by 10-20% to burn less fuel and produce less greenhouse gases. Yes, it’s a symbolic gesture — the amount of gas consumed and greenhouse gases produced in an entire season of Cup racing are barely a blip on the big picture radar screen — but we’re doing our part. Some folks, like my strident buddy in the Civic Hybrid, aren’t going to be appeased. So in another symbolic gesture, I’d suggest that NASCAR take 1% of the race purse and 1% of ticket prices to buy and preserve virgin rain forest in South America, the forests that the Greenies call the “lungs of the planet.” Another 1% might be donated by track owners and promoters to initiatives local to their track intended to preserve green space, wetlands, and forests. Now, I admit that I’m a hidebound traditionalist. I’ve always loved the 500-mile races, because they are a test of the cars’ and drivers’ endurance… but I’m also a realist. In contemporary NASCAR, racing 500-mile events are only a test of the fans’ endurance, since the drivers don’t actually start competing until the final 20 laps of the race anyway. Sorry… I don’t know how to fix that.
The next step would be to approach the design of the cars themselves. With the help of Sunoco, NASCAR’s official fuel supplier, we should begin looking at having all the race fuel converted to E85 by the 2011 Cup season. In addition, the biomass fuel would not be derived from foodstuffs eaten by humans and livestock — the use of corn for ethanol has raised prices at the grocery store and contributed to famines worldwide. Instead, all of our race fuel will be generated from saw grass, grass clippings, and other renewable, if unpalatable, crops. That would be a great PR move for Sunoco in a time where oil companies, and their obscene profits, have replaced Congress as the most loathed institutions on Earth.
Secondly, we’re going to finally reduce the engine sizes for the Cup, Nationwide, and Craftsman Truck Series entries from 5.7 liters to 4.6 starting in 2010. Given the same design parameters, a smaller displacement engine will burn less gas than a larger one. Reduced power would also actually benefit racing… not hurt it. It’s been shown time and time again that lower speeds on oval tracks actually make for better racing, with more side by side action and overall passing. So, in one full swoop we’ll make a symbolic gesture towards being green while actually taking a stride towards improving the dismal quality of racing as of late. Who knows? With reduced horsepower in the Cup cars, Goodyear might even be able to design a tire that lasts more than 10 laps at Indy!
Finally, we’re going to step into the 20th century at last and have the Cup cars run fuel injection rather than carbs. Again, I’m a hidebound traditionalist; and I love carbs. I love taking them apart and tinkering with them; in fact, I’ve bought three of the things in the last three months. But the fact remains that the last passenger car to use a carb was the lowly Chevette Scooter sometime back in the ’80s. For better or worse, within my lifetime, I figure the last place we’ll be able to see a mechanical secondary double pump four barrel Holley carb is in the Smithsonian Institute.
In its place, fuel injection has become a wonderful thing. Look at the horsepower the late model performance cars make with fuel injection. I hate to admit it, but a lot of these modern muscle cars can stomp the Hell out of the legends of the ’60s and ’70s, all while getting decent fuel mileage and meeting emission standards along the way. Given proper regulated design parameters, fuel injection can greatly improve the fuel mileage of stock cars (that’s important, since E85 really hurts fuel mileage) and lower the amount of carbon monoxide at the track — fumes which have been sickening drivers, crew members, and fans for decades. Again, it’s a move that’s good for the environment and good for the fans.
While we’re at it, track owners and promoters can contribute to our effort as well. Let’s face it; a lot of empty aluminum cans are generated at a stock car race. Heck, just look at all of ‘em that hit the track when Kyle Busch wins! There need to be large and convenient recycling bins at every track to see to it all empty pop and beer cans are recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. To encourage their use, promoters could put up standup cardboard cutouts of Kyle Busch atop the recycling dumpsters to allow fans to toss their cans at Kyle without causing catastrophe. Tickets and programs could be printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Carpooling by the fans could be encouraged by premium parking for high occupancy vehicles (and motorcycles of American manufacturer) with easy access routes out of the track after the event. Track facilities themselves could be designed and redesigned with more green friendly technology, like wind mills and solar panels, with the excess energy generated during the 50 weeks the typical track isn’t hosting a Cup event going to the local power grid to lower the cost of energy for local consumers. Trees could be planted on track property to offset the race’s environmental footprint… etc., etc. In truth, there’s thousands of small gestures race tracks could make that I’m overlooking here to prove to the Greenies, “OK, we get it. We’re working hard to be part of the solution, not the problem.”
Teams could also become part of the initiative. Let’s face it; those bulking mastodons of team transporters burn a lot of fuel and roll a lot of miles. Again, with Sunoco’s help and strategic planning, those rigs could all be converted over to biodiesel. And team owners should consider transporting personnel to tracks within a reasonable distance by car or truck rather than private aircraft. A Ford Expedition might be a horror to the environmentalists — but a private jet makes it look like a Prius. Even the race car drivers might try making a statement by driving to races (after all, they are supposed to be pretty good at that stuff). Taking a trek to Darlington, Richmond, or even Atlanta and Dover in the car rather than firing up their personal helicopters and jets — twin symbols of conspicuous consumption in harsh economic times — would really send a message that NASCAR’s taking initiative. Hell, maybe they could use Segways rather than two stroke golf carts to get around the track grounds.
I hate to say it, but I don’t think this Green frenzy is going away anytime soon, even if gas prices were to somehow drop down to more manageable levels (as reduced demand indicates it should). So, it’s time for NASCAR to police itself and prove that they are good environmental citizens of the Earth (God, I feel vomit trying to exit my nostrils even writing that!) before the politicians, meddlers, and Greenies step in and make their own policy law. When the Barbarians arrive at the gates of NASCAR, we need to be able to say we have managed to reduce our oil consumption and greenhouse gas output by 33% of 2008 levels, and plans are in place to reduce it by 50%. Clearly, that would generate vast amounts of good will… but no matter what, just don’t let those Greenie Weenies enter the track property to hand out pamphlets. Did I mention I hate pamphlets and pamphleteers? Bastards, dirty rotten bastards, why I ought to…
Anyways, if we don’t act now, the alternative is to have some unholy overlord like the EPA insist that stock car racing take place with four cylinder hybrid cars with full catalytic converters and mufflers (and the roar of an unmuffled V8 is the last good and true thing unsullied in stock car racing) against our will. It can happen. The majority of the American auto industry’s problems stem from well-meaning, but boneheaded politicians without a clue about automotive design and consumer preferences making their shortsighted demands about automotive safety, fuel consumption, and emissions standards.
Meanwhile, I guess I’ll don a ball cap and dark sun glasses and take the Trans Am for a five mile blast down dark country roads, reveling in the joy of 455 cubic inches, 360 (dyno tested) horsepower, and 490 foot pounds of torque surging through a Borg Warner ST10 four speed to a 3.42 posi rear — staring across that big gold screaming chicken on the black hood as telephone poles began looking like a picket fence. That’s before the Greenies can pry the keys from my cold, dead hand to stop such foolishness … but they’re going to have to catch me first.
©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Matt, you could drive your Trans Am 24 hours a day for ten years and still leave a fraction of the carbon footprint that Al Gore leaves flying his private jet to speeches where he tells people not to drive SUVs.
It’s time people stopped buying garbage from these hypocrites.
Matt, why doesn’t NASCAR join the Flat Earth Society, too? That’s just as real as man-made “climate change”. You don’t defeat a hoax by joining the hoaxters. Just because the “sheeple” of this country want to be herded by the likes of Algore and all his greenie buddies, let’s stand up for what’s real in this world, and it ain’t “global warming.”
Environmental bullies. Now I’ve heard it all.
Send them to China if they want to see REAL pollution on an unimaginable scale. Their heads would explode.
Anyway, I liked Robin Miller’s idea for the 500. Give each team a certain amount of fuel, far less than they use now, get rid of all the rules, and let them do whatever they want to go 500 miles as fast as they can on the limited fuel.
Al Gore “invented” air pollution just as he said he “invented” the internet! Just more liberal hogwash! You should have popped those people in the mouth! Shame on you!!
In contemporary NASCAR, racing 500-mile events are only a test of the fans’ endurance, since the drivers don’t actually start competing until the final 20 laps of the race anyway. Sorry… I don’t know how to fix that.
I know how to fix that. Score points every lap of the race based on your current position. Then just riding around letting people pass will cost you points and possibly the chase.
An Algore press junket burns more fuel than the entire field does in a 500-miler. The day NA$CAR goes green is the day they lose even more green (in the form of fans’ cash).
You should have told the little twerp to mind his own freekin’ business. Kudos on the tire-smokin’ exhibition! I would’ve done the same with my 400-pony GTO.
Of course, SATB fans know that Bandit was a 77 T/A, not a 76. However, you ride is sweeeeeet!
You make some great points . Wasting gasoline is wasting gasoline . PERIOD . Why not shorten the race distances ? 300 miles maximum , some even less .
Environism is a religion for people who think they are too enlightened to believe in God. They worship Nature instead. I wish even one of them could tell me what year it was, when all of Nature was in perfect harmony. Then I would know the goal they are working feverishly to achieve. Environism has been the perfect union of government and religion that our founding fathers feared. They are more brazen now because the government has been teaching this religion in our public schools for nearly two generations. The problem will get a lot worse before it gets better. Soon they will be telling you how many square feet you are allowed to have your home. Eventually, this kind of crap will have to be delt with. Stick to NASCAR, Matt. I hear too much from these people already.
I agree that there should be bins for recycling soda/beer cans. How hard is it to throw your trash away? Regardless of global warming this or that, the rules of cleanliness and respect for whats around you is seriously lacking at the track. I was in the garage area a few weeks ago and noticed how the team members left their trash all over the place, its so disrespectful.
There’s something to be said for acting responsibly; but, the militant view of some is over the top. George Carlin must have met your friend:
In your position, I might have tried a different tack. You could have explained that they were thinking short term, while you were being environmentally conscious with a much more effective long-term outlook. You’re using up the available petroleum-based fuel at a higher rate, while they are just prolonging the issue.
Simple microeconomics. You’re driving up the price of gas by using more in your T/A. Driving up the price (as we’ve seen) will drive the car companies to find alternative fuels. You’re also decreasing the supply on a finite resource, which also helps to accelerate the process of moving the world to alternative fuels.
So, I say: good job. I need to go get a less fuel efficient vehicle so I can help to accelerate the change to renewable fuel sources.
Some have seemed to confused the current situation. Some of the Dumb asses that we have elected, want to go back to a 55MPH speed limit. IN ’74 when the Oil embargo was in effect. 95% of gas stations were closed on Sundays. I was towing my Midget 180 miles one way, to race on Sunday nights. One station was open Sunday. I’d fill up, plus fill a 5 gal can. Strap it on the trailer. Dump it in before starting home. This would get me back to the station. Now no shortage, just high prices. I kind of understand the balance of trade, we send all of our money to the Arabs, & Chinese, & get oil, & cheap crap in return. I do faithfully recycle, & try to do my part to save the planet. But I also know that the tree huggers would never understand the rush when you bury your foot in a big block. As long as you can afford to put gas in the Blackbird, go for it!
Green my ass. They should serve BBQ Spotted Owl on a stick at the track. Cover the grandstands in Panda fur to make them more comfortable, and apply Right Whale oil to the sides of the tires to make them shiny and nice looking.
Two dopes violate your personal space with their stupidity and now you want to cave in to their demands.
Give that T/A to a man Nancy Boy and get a Vespa.
We are on this earth only for a short time. We were put here to do three things.
Why use ethanol or gasoline or any other type of fossil fuel go straight to Hydroxy or HHO which is water broken down into hydrogen and oxygen also it is 3x more powerful than gasoline and leaves water as its byproduct. You should of told those 2 freaks to get back in their car because if they don’t they won’t have to worry about the pollution problem anymore.
What happens to all the Goodyears they burn up??
Responsible stewardship is one thing. We are admonished to be responsible stewards. But I cannot and will not buy the hogwash of all the Al Gores of the world, who burn up millions of gallons in jet fuel, trying to get us to conserve a little. If it is beneficial do it, but don’t buy into all the garbage you read and hear
That Trans Am is sweeet. Have you ever seen my El Frickin Camino? Just make sure your tires are properly inflated and you are golden Matt.
You should have punched that tool.
From one Pontiac guy to you Matt. Don’t ever let them catch you. The freedom of all gearheads is at stake here.